I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Buzz -- Tokyo Samba(Tokyoサンバ)

This is only my second article on the folk duo Buzz(バズ). Over three years ago, I wrote about Masakazu Togo(東郷昌和)and his partner Hiroshi Koide(小出博志)with their most famous hit, "Ken to Mary ~ Ai to Kaze no yo ni" (ケンとメリー〜愛と風のように〜) from 1972, a most comfortable tune that became famous as the commercial theme for a brand of Nissan automobile.

Well, I found this other song by Buzz (kindly uploaded by Keir Hardie) from their May 1974 2nd studio album "Requiem The City"(レクヰエム・ザ・シティ)and it has a totally different sensation. "Tokyo Samba" isn't a folk number at all but something to be heard on the car stereo while its owner is having a pleasant morning drive on the Shuto Expressway (perhaps way early in the morning to avoid the rush hour).

In other words, it is a totally wonderful orange juice song to get up at at 'em, and I gather that it was whipped up to match the theme of that album title. Despite one-half of the song title though, it's not so much of a Latin creation (although I can hear some of that Latin guitar and percussion) and maybe more melodically fitting with life described in the other half of the title. Along with the music, the lyrics come off as happy-go-lucky and willing to break the fourth wall in a way as Togo and Koide sing about how much in love they are with "Tokyo Samba". But before you make fun of them, let it be known that they weren't the ones who wrote and composed "Tokyo Samba". Those credits belong to singer-drummer Yukihiro Takahashi(高橋幸宏), later of Yellow Magic Orchestra. Interestingly enough, "Ken to Mary" was created by Takahashi's brother, Nobuyuki(高橋信之).

Anyways, I wonder whether "Tokyo Samba" ever got onto the radio since it wasn't a single but a track from an album. I think it would have been great accompaniment for brunch although as always, Japanese radio stations never made it a duty to play the entire length of a song.

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